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  CSPAN    Politics Public Policy Today    News/Business.  

    October 2, 2012
    6:00 - 7:00am EDT  

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>> our coverage of the senate races continues tonight. republican ted crews is running against paul. ted cruz and paul's debate will be live at 8:00 p.m. eastern. and what and engage with c-span as a presidential candidates meet in their first debate on wednesday from university of denver. our live debate preview starts at 7:00 p.m. eastern. at 9:00 p.m., jim moderates the debate focusing on domestic policy. after the debate, reaction and comments, calls, e mails and tweets. paul our live coverage on c- span, c-span radio and online at c-span.org.
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>> nebraska senator ken nelson -- ben nelson is not running for that seat. our coverage of the monday night debate is courtesy of net new,. >> welcome, i will be the moderator for this third debate between the u.s. senate candidates. we welcome those joining us on net and ribble live stream on the net website and welcome those across the nation joined us on c-span. we are live this debate. you could also give us your comments during and after the
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debate on our facebook page. for the next hour, are candidates will face questions from nebraska journalists, citizens across the state who participated in our voter voices project and from each other. the rules are simple -- and each candidate will have 90 seconds to respond to the questions and 30 seconds for a rebuttal. tonight's debate is taking place before a live studio audience, we have as the student -- the studio audience to refrain from the applause which takes time away from candidates. before we meet the candidates we will introduce our panel of journalists.
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of nebraska. it is time to meet the candidates --
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here in nebraska we make tough decisions, and we move on. but in nebraska we are able to do that. we are if he had up. that is another reason that i am running for the united states senate. they have said enough spending, enough in debt and enough taxes on the middle-class. we have made changes here in the state of nebraska that grows this economy. that is why i am running for the united states senate. they want a change of leadership in washington. we have a senate in washington that hasn't passed a budget, let alone a balanced budget. we can change that. that is why i am running for the united states senate. i want to pass a balanced budget. i'm not your usual politician. obviously i am not one of the good ole boys, and i will make the tough decisions in the united states senate. we'll roll up my sleeves and work hard for you, and i will fight for you. i will fight for all people. thank you. >> thank you. now the opening statement from former nebraska governor and senator bob kerrey. >> i love nebraska. i was born here in lincoln. i went to lincoln northeast high school. i left nebraska, went to war and came home. i recovered from my injuries here in lincoln. i started a business that today employs more than 700 people. i have served you as your governor. we balanced the budget and the economy recovered. i served as a senator, and again we balanced the budget and our economy recovered. when i left officer we were paying off our public debt. i am a candidate for congress or the senate because congress needs to change, and i will fate
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to make that change happen. i never have and i never will be a cookie cutter politician. i never have and i never will be anything other than someone who loves nebraska and will always do what is best for our state and our nation. >> thank you, senator. now that the candidates have made their opening statements, it is time for questions from our panel of journalists. we begin with fred with a question for senator kerrey. >> you are running to be not just a senator from nebraska, but a u.s. senator. if elected, how would you balance the economic interests of agriculture with those of the nation as a hole. should congress require the use of 15 billion gals a year for ethanol when critics say that raises food prices for everyone? >> the nation he is and agriculture is align. we have a surplus. the interests of agriculture and the united states are aligned. i am appalled that neither governor romney or president obama is talking about agriculture in this campaign. it is the foundation of the u.s. economy. i fought for ethanol since i was governor. it has been a great success. it has lowered the price of fuel, improved the quality of economy. it has created tens of thousands of jobs. it is a great example of bipartisan efforts. there is a new company with 100 yards. -- with 100 jobs. the governor and senator worked together with the champion better of commerce and brought the jobs here. this isn't a threat to our economy. the interests of agriculture and the united states of america are completely aligned. there is no need to choose. >> senator fisher?
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>> thank you very much. you know, i grew up in lincoln. my husband and i have been married 40 years, and i have lived in cherry county for those years with our family ranch, our three sons and denali. agriculture is important in this state. what is important is that we always work together as a state. there are urban interests and rural interests and they coincide. because of agriculture's importance to the state of nebraska -- for example --for instance, one in three jobs are dependent on the ag economy. we need to keep it in mind. it is a balancing act. i have done it in the last eight years in the legislature, handling that balancing act. that is how we grow our economy. in fact, we have weathered this economy fairly well here in the state of nebraska because the ago economy has been strong,
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because it has carried us through. that is recognized all across the state. >> senator, kerrey, 30 seconds. >> everything she sedition i agree with. -- everything she said that i thank i agree with. i am not quite sure what she said. my problem with what senator fisher talks about here and in other areas is that her signing of the northwest pledge, her support of this particular balanced budget amendment will necessitate deep cuts in everything she talks about wanting to do. in this case, crop insurance. we authored that back in the 1990's. we have to push beyond the rhetoric and ask the question. what is the impact on nebraska of the fisher plan? >> we hear about the northwest pledge. that is a pledge i have made to the people of nebraska. senator nelson has signed that as well. when ronald reagan was
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president, we had a debt of $1 trillion. today it is $16 trillion. ronald reagan said we can't do it with a quintero anymore. -- with a carrot anymore. it is going to take a stick, and that is the balanced budget amendment. at $16 trillion, we need a big stick. we need to cut spending. we can do that. we can balance this budget. >> thank you. our next question from clean fisher. -- from colleen williams. >> what is the one thing we should be concentrating on to improve education in this country? >> i'm a former school board member of 20 years. i started out in a two-room school house, was elected to that board and then served over 15 years on the valentine school board. i understand the importance of education. it is a priority for me. but it works best at the local level. it works best when you have
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school board members involved, when you have parents involved, when you have a community involved and when you have educators involved. one of the mistakes i believe that has been made at the federal level is the package of the no child left behind act. i think it started out with good intentions, but it hasn't accomplished what it should have. it has taken educators out of the classroom, and we need to keep them in the classroom if they are going to address the needs of students. >> senator? >> the most important thing is to make sure that these kids arrive in kindergarten ready to learn. if they are behind, they are never going to catch up. i am not going to get a nobel prize for making that discovery. it is a fact. the rhetoric of senator fisher and the reality of her propose always don't match up. she voted against providing prenatal care for children.
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the proposal will result in deep cuts to early childhood education and head start. it is a fact. i am not exaggerating here. that is what her plan does. at least grover is honest. he was on the entitlement commission with senator danforth and i. he is against the head start bill. he is honest about what he wants. he would like to see medicare privatized. that is what he wants. he didn't sign a pledge for nebraska. he signed his pledge. i happen to disagree with that vision and believe that signing that pledge is going to make it difficult for us to take care of our kids and give them the quality of education they need. >> senator fisher, 30 seconds. agree kerrey, i don't with your numbers. you know that. i signed a pledge to people. i have never had them say to me go to lincoln and raise my taxes.
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i have never had a person say to me go to washington and keep spending. that is not how we do it. i have been on the front lines in education. i have served on a board in a small district where you deal intimately with staff, with students and with parents, and we have been successful here in the state doing this. >> thank you. >> the numbers are available for people to look at. you can examine it. macroeconomics has examined the impact. it will destroy 50,000 jobs. it will make it difficult to do anything. it was her vote against prenatal care for children that i cited. she is not an advocate for early childhood education, which i think is the most important thing we can do to make certain we have success in our schools.
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>> in is the nebraska did he babe live from the studios in lincoln. now it is your turn to ask a question of our candidates. for months n.e.t. news with libraries across nebraska have encouraged voters to record a short video and ask a question for the candidates to answer. we call the project voter voices. tonight you will hear there two nebraska citizens. our first question comes from margaret bowzer of omaha. >> the other problem that i would like to see addressed in the next four years is huge campaign finance reform. our elections are being sold to the highest bidder. that is not what our democracy should be about. >> senator kerrey? question? >> the focus is on campaign finance reform. all right. >>when i say i am going to fight
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to change congress, i need it i have a 45-word amendment to the constitution that i think would make those proud. it says that congress must organize itself in a non- partisan fashion. you can have no more than 12 consecutive years of service. you have to place limitations of what you can spend in campaigns. the questioner is right. even if it is not reality, the perception is that politics has been corrupted by money. i remember running in 1982. the constitution says if you are 30 years old and a citizen you can run. but the reality is if you can't raise $7 million or $8 million, you are not qualified. there is no question is his corrupting our political process and decision-making. we have to change the constitution to give congress the authority to actually limit what can be spent in campaigns.
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>> thank you. senator? >> thank you. i am proud of the fact that on our last campaign finance report that both of us turned in, over 70% of my contributions came from within the state of nebraska. it came from nebraska citizens. with mr. kerrey, over 70% of his contributions came from out of state. i hope to engage citizens. that is what i have been doing, is traveling the state, engaging citizens, garnering great grassroots support across the state. we did it in the primary. there was so much excitement. we have that now. we have it with local people here in the state of nebraska. when you are talking about possibly finance reforms, i think we need more transparency. i think we need more accountability. you can look at requiring instead of quarterly reports, maybe monthly reports. there are changes that can be
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looked at to make it a more open and transparent process. that is what campaign finance is about. >> senator kerrey, 30 seconds? >> i disagree. if we don't amend the constitution to give congress the authority to limit spending, you going to see a continuation of this. waterboarding is more popular today than congress. the big wall street banks spent $400 million in 2009 and 2010 to water down the regulation bill they are trying to repeal it again. money matters in these campaigns and it has corrupted our political system. >> i can tell citizens that have donate todd my campaign, over -- donated to my campaign over 70%, they don't expect that they botany vote. it doesn't happen in the legislature, and it is not going to happen in the united states senate. and for someone to say, mr. kerrey, that you want to amend the constitution.
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it is easier said than done. that is a very difficult process to go through. amending the constitution to make it a non-partisan body, how does that make it easier? >> here is the next question. >> good evening, senators. attack adds and name-calling has seemed to become such a fact. you are not allowed to not answer this. list three qualities or accomplishments that would make your opponent a great u.s. senator? >> i have always said i thank mr. kerrey and respect him for his service to our country. i respect him for his service as a governor, and i respect him for his service in the united states senate. that being said, i am not supporting you in this election.
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\[laughter] but i thank you for that. that is very important, and i do honor you for it. but you have a different perspective when it comes to view of government than i do. i think you believe that government is the wherewith of all for what we need in this country. i do not. i believe we need private responsibility. but i do thank you for your service. >> well, you are welcome two that service. i respect that she is a mother. i respect that she is a rancher and a small business person. i think she is campaigning on all three of those things. i have a great deal of respect for what she did in the school board and legislature. anybody that is a candidate for public office, you are putting your family and so far at risk. but we have fundamental disagreements here. the negative advertising is in
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one year -- all you have to do to miss negative advertising is not watch television, which is not a bad option. what she said isn't true. i started a business here in nebraska. the first thing we had to do to start our business was get a permit, get a zone change. i understand the governor doesn't create jobs and that the private sector creates jobs, and i understand you have to be careful with taxes in that regard. it is political rhetoric in my opinion. she said earlier you can't get a constitutional amendment passed and that is why i don't support it. i was alive in 1971 when they lowered the voting age. i was in favor of raising the shooting age. we got it done in 90 days. if i am in the senate, i have no doubt that i can persuade them.
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>> thank you. >> well now i would have to say i admire your determination to believe you you could do something like that. that is a mighty task. i don't see congress changing that quickly. non-partisan legislature works here in the state of nebraska. i'm a part of that. i have worked through with my colleagues on a number of issues for the last eight years, and we have accomplished a lot, and i am very proud of that fact. but it is not that easy. what we need to do is make sure that we have people elected who your willing to step forward and work across the aisle. not career politicians. >> senator kerrey? >> just because it is difficult doesn't mean we shouldn't do it. i believe i can get it done. i don't intend to persuade congress. they are going to oppose it.
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i am going to fight to change the rules of the filibuster. i am going to announce $1 trillion in savings by cutting back on congress' pensions and the executive branch. if we want to balance this budget, we have to lead with that kind of an effort. i expect to persuade the american people. >> here is the next question. >> senator kerrey, nebraska has the second lowest unemployment rate in the nation at 4%, but the bureau of labor statistics say the rate is twice that. what can you do to improve that situation? >> first of all, there is nothing worse in life than wanting to work and not finding a job.
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in a lot of ways it is sort of outside of the reach of the experience of of both senator fisher and myself. this is a difficult thing for us to understand. so i would say first of all you have to keep production and agriculture healthy. we have 19 companies up in omaha that process food every day. senator fisher is in opposition to a proposal that would have removed a $300 million tax on m.u.d. has made it difficult on those jobs. you have to think about those burdens if you are going to create economic opportunities. i think you have to support public-private partner ships. i have heard them talk about a mentor program that the governor started. small things that can make a difference. low cost public power can make a difference. the partner ships have with our universities throughout the state are important.
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the fisher plan will make those things difficult. it just will. the facts say so, you can't run away from it. you have to cut $1 trillion with the spending, and it will increase unemployment in nebraska by 50,000 people. >> senator fisher? >> thank you. let me tell you what the fisher plan is. the fisher plan is a jobs plan. it is to allow small businesses to grow, create jobs and turn this economy around. the fisher plan is so we can create opportunities for people to have jobs so they can take care of their families, so they can buy homes, so they can save for their kids' college education. that is what the fisher plan is. the fisher plan means we back government away from small businesses and let small businesses create jobs. that is how we are going to turn this economy around. that is how we are going to get on the road to recovery. we are going to reduce
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regulations. i always tell the story about meeting with home builders here in lincoln, and they told me that instead of inspectors coming and saying you need to change this, you need to fix this to meet a regulation, in the last four years what they have seen are inspectors coming in and signing them. what home builder had a ladder leaning up against the wall and he was fined $7,000. that is a government that is out of control. we need to reduce those regulations. we need to reform the tax code. if we want businesses to grow in this economy, you know what the fisher plan is? the fisher plan is that we need to look at the corporate tax straight. -- tax rate. we are looking at 35% corporate tax rate. that is the highest among our trading partners. we need to lower that to 24%, close loopholes, allow businesses to create jobs here in this country and here in this state. we have done it in nebraska.
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>> thank you. >> that is the fisher slogan. the fisher plan says to governor no tax increase, including people over $1 million. the balanced budget proposal that she has is $1 trillion worth of cuts. it will increase unemployment in the state of nebraska 50%. it will break our commitments to senators, to veterans, it will weaken our military. that is what it does. this is outside analysis. in her own words she said to cut our mail terry is a bad thing. -- our military is a bad thing. her proposal is 10 times worse. >> thank you. i will continue with the fisher plan because the fisher plan is going to reduce energy costs. we are lucky to have public power in this state, and we will get energy costs reduced. that helps businesses to grow. the fisher plan is going to allow for free and fair trade
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where you have an administration hopefully that will get those trade agreements to congress and get them signed so that our economy can grow. we have done it in nebraska. we have grown jobs here in the state of nebraska and provided property tax relief. those are specifics, not slogans of the fisher plan. i haven't heard that from the kerrey plan. >> thank you. this is the nebraska senate debate. a reminder to give us your thoughts on the debate on twitter. tonight we are putting questions to republican deb fisher and democrat bob kerrey. the next two questions will come from the candidates themselves. they will each ask one question of the other. we will begin with senator fisher asking senator kerrey a question. >> mr. kerrey, you talk about cutting spending. you talk about but partisanship.
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-- bipartisanship. yet when you were in the united states senate, when the welfare reform bill came up, you fought against it. that was a bipartisan bill. it was put forward by president clinton. i liked the ball, the people -- i like to the bill from nebraska liked the ball. --senator kerrey and joe biden voted for the bill. that was an important piece of legislation. can you explain to us why did you vote against cutting spending? why did you vote against requiring people to work for their welfare check? and why did you vote against that landmark piece of legislation? >> you have 90 seconds. >> first of all, that is several questions. i did not vote against cutting spending. we supported the george bush budget in 1990. we did the same thing in 1993. and i worked with john kasic and newt gingrich rich, and it got the job done. we balanced the budget.
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the unemployment rate was going down and poverty rates were going down. other than that, it didn't work. i didn't like the welfare bill. i voted against it because i didn't believe it provided the kind of child care and work support we needed to provide. we came back in, in 1997, and did it. i don't oppose of people receiving welfare to have to work. i think it is a good thing to do. i was governor in 1983 when we were in recession. we had no tax increase over that food. -- four years. we lowered the tax on ford. the governors will tell you. spend more money here, spend more money there.
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and we held the line. in this campaign i have endorsed republican proposals to cut spending. the conservative senator from oklahoma. i am proposing to cut congress today. it simply isn't true to say that i haven't supported spending cuts, because i have done plenty of it in the past. >> thank you. senator fisher you have a 30- second rebuttal. >> this was a signature achievement for president bill clinton. it was a vote against cutting spending. you didn't cut spending then. i don't know if you will cut spending if you go back to the united states senate. i don't want to see taxes raised. that is not the future i see for this country. if we are going to truly cut spending, yes, i support a balanced budget amendment because politicians will spend
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every dime they get. we need a bigger stick. >> thank you. senator kerrey, your question for senator fisher. >> well, can i -- >> not according to the format. >> let me put it back to you. in the last debate you talked eloquently about taking care of our veterans, our military and keeping our commitment to seniors. i have looked at this balanced budget amendment. that is a trillion dollar. i know we have had two wars and 18 million baby boomers. how are you going to cut $1 trillion? >> this is where we disagree. i see a brighter future for america. i see a more positive future. i believe we can turn this economy around.
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we can grow jobs. we can have this economy recover. it is not all about cutting spending. that is a very important part. we have done it here in nebraska. it's an important part to cut the spending, but you have to grow an economy if you are going to create jobs and opportunities. and i believe it can be done. i think my view of the future is more positive than yours because you look at cutting spending, but you look at raising taxes. that is a if you said mental difference between us. -- that is a fundamental difference between>> i will say it again. us. in this campaign, i have endorsed republican proposals to cut spending. tom coburn on social, a conservative republican of oklahoma. and today announced $1 trillion worth of cuts to congress in executive branch. i under we have to cut spending. my point is all this sloganeering about being an optimist. i am optimist about our future.
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but when you cut $1 trillion because you don't want to raise taxes for people over $1 million, because you don't want to produce additional revenues, it will increase the unemployment rate in nebraska. >> back to our journalists. clean with a question directed -- calling "-- colleen williams with a question directed towards senator fisher. >> one part of health care reform did away with insurance companies' ability to deny people coverage for preexisting conditions. part of the trade-off to cover increased costs was requiring individuals to have coverage. if the health care law is repealed, would you favor keeping preexisting conditions coverage? if so, how would you pay for it? >> i support repealing the health care act. i think that is important. what i hear from people across
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the state of nebraska is that they overwhelmingly support it as well. we don't like the individual mandate. we don't like government coming between a doctor and a patient. preexisting conditions, in visiting with the people in this state, it is very important that we address that. i believe the united states senate will come together and address it. what i will tell you is that we won't pay for it by stealing over $700 billion from medicare. that was the trade-off on the health care act now. that was the deal that was made. that is not sound policy. everyone knows it is not sound policy. what we can do is look for savings. we can look for savings with toward reform. -- with tort reform. over a quarter of the medical procedures that are required now are unnecessary. that is one way we can look for the money. >> senator? >> first of all, i signed a
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toward reform bill when i was -- tort reform bill would governor and it had no impact on not was costs muhammad ali. it is a decrease in payments to insurance companies and hospitals. that is what it is. senator fisher, you will be eligible for medicare in four or five years. the problem is under her proposal, medicare will be insolvent in 1016 under current law, it will be insolvent in 2024. i just heard senator fisher talk about the need to cut spending. now she wants to spend another $700 billion on insurance companies and hospitals. i support the affordable health care ack. i like the idea that preexisting conditions can no longer be cited to not underwrite people. i like that we have eliminated lifetime caps. 300,000 seniors with
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prescription drugs have gotten a benefit. but most importantly, there are 120,000 people who in 2014 will get about $3,000 each. they are making about $10 an hour. they are going to be able to buy health insurance. they will be healthier. they will be more likely to hold their family together and be more productive in the work force. you will have a hard time in 2020 finding anybody who said they opposed this thing because of the good it will do for our economy and people. >> senator, fisher, 30 seconds. >> we disagree because the $700 billion is a cut to medicare and the providers. those providers have said they expected to make it up by the increase in patients that would be coming due to obama a care. we are going to see 23 million people that are going to lose
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their employer insurance because of the health care act. that is an estimate of what is going to happen. this is not a good policy. >> senator kerrey? >> it simply isn't true. she wants to spend $700 billion more on medicare. that is what she is proposing to do. it is going to make it insolvent in 2016 rather than 2024. it is troy that obama care will provide $1 billion to nebraska hospitals to cover uncompensated care, and they will net out ahead. that is why i support the bill as is. the the fact is congress didn't steal money from medicare. they preserved and extended its life. >> thank you. our next question from kevin of the lincoln journal star, directed to senator kerrey. >> the united states, as you well know, has been at war since 2001, and i think it is safe to saying that most americans are war weary.
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that said, what should be u.s. policy toward syria and iran specifically? under what conditions would you support the use of military force, and should it require the prior consent of congress? >> of course it requires the prior consent of congress. president obama needed to come to congress before it went against libya. congress has the authority to decide when and where we should go to work. i think we have to be very careful. i went to a war that was very popular when it started. then after people started dying, it got unpopular and we wanted to get it done. the same thing is happening in afghanistan. by the way, this war on terror didn't start in 2001. our barracks in lebanon with attacked in 1983, 1991, at the towers. we were attacked in the cole in
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2000. the problem was we didn't recognize the threat. i do believe we made a terrible mistake treating it as a law enforcement problem. these people have declared war on us. and they are engaging in war- like practices to go after us. there is no question this war predates 2001. i don't think you need to occupy afghanistan to fight the war. i don't think you have to occupy any nation. but no one should doubt that this war is going to continue. there is an existential threat to the united states of america regardless of where you are in the world. >> thank you. senator fisher? >> yes, congress must consent to war. iran should not be allowed to have nuclear weapons. that needs to be made clear. we have an administration that has a foreign policy that is in confusion. it is not clear to our allies
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nor to our foes. with regards to iran, we saw student protestors. no word from this administration. no word at all. finally in 2011 the united states stepped forward with sanctions. i'm happy that the european nations have stepped forward with sanctions as well. but we need to be clear with our allies, with our ally israel. this isn't just their problem or that reggie. this is a problem for the world. it is estimated in three years the iranians are going to have icbm's that can reach the united states. this is our concern. and we have heard nothing from this administration with regard to iran enriching uranium. there is a lack of leadership, a lack of claret.
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-- clarity. i want america to remain a stabilizing force in the world. a lack of leadership, a lack of clarification, when our allies need to know what we are doing, we have lost that. moredon't know who is confused, governor romney or president obama. it is a confusing time in the middle east. the fifth fleet is in bahrain. that is on the persian gulf. there are 80 million people in iran. the day after we are attacked on 9/11, two countries were on the street in celebration. one was scottsdale and the other was iran. -- one was israel and the other was a iranthe people like us? . if we are not careful with military action, we will turn the people against us as well. >> thank you.
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senator fisher, 30 seconds. >> i wanted to follow up on the part of your question about syria as well. we are looking at a civil war there. we are looking at a dictator, asad, who is murdering his open people. i am not advocating entering that country. we don't even know who the rebels are. we need to monitor the situation. there is some indication that it could be al qaeda. we need to be very careful. but i would suggest again showing leadership by this administration in trying to pressure russia, where syria is a client state of russia and have them are try and step in with this situation. >> thank you. we told you earlier in the debate about the n.e.t. news voter voices election project which asked citizens across the state to go to a participating library and record a comment on the issues and questions for our candidates. you can still record a video with your opinions. you can also tune in for a one-
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hour voter voices special on n.e.t. television friday, october 19th at 7:00 central. we have one more voter voices questions in this debate. it comes from philip at winnebago, a law student. >> there isn't a lot of discussion at the national level from our elected leadership about environmental issues. the push to extract oil from our land, this country's land. and the other issue would be global warming. >> senator fisher, we are talking about environmental
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issues. we are talking about extracting oil from the land and climate change. >> thank you. i have an energy plan. i have had it out for over a year now. that energy plan is all of the above. we realize that we have an abundance of natural resources here in our state and here in our country, and i believe that they need to be managed, and they need to be managed responsibly. we need to drill for oil. we need to drill for oil on federal lands, off shore, and we need to look at oil shale. we need to look at clean cole -- coal. the united states has a huge amount of coal. here in nebraska we understand the importance of those coal- fired electric plants. that helps us keep our energy rates low for consumers, and low for businesses as well. the governor can tell you when he talks to businesses and trying to attract them to our
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state, those electric costs have a big part to play in that to attract those businesses to come here. so we need to consider that. we need to look at renewables. we need to look at wind. we need to look at solar. we have ethanol, which is a great boone for this state. but you have to have a balanced perspective in order to move forward. with regards to climate change, what matters there is the policies that the united states is going to implement to address climate change. what we have seen from the government in the past is cap and trade, and i don't support cap and trade. >> thank you. senator kerrey? >> i hate to say this, but one of the reasons we have low-cost power, senator fisher because when it comes to electricity, we own the means of product. it is public power, and that is why our rates are low. i appreciate you think government should get out of
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everything, but it is because government is involved that we have low-cost power. that is undeniably true. i am not suggesting we nationalize the oil companies. we need to do all of the above. in the grand island debate, the question occurred, are human beings warming the planet and your answer was not. you can't begin solving a problem unless you can name the problem. i know people don't want a change. i know they are concerned about the cost. but we grow our food outside, and no state is more vulnerable to adverse impacts of weather than nebraska. we are at 380 parts per million now and heading up. it is not like taking a piece of trash and throwing it on the ground and somebody can pick it up. it is not like putting led in our glen and hurting the brains of our children for 60 years. you get to 500 or 600 parts per million, it takes 1,500 years to reverse it.
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if we don't do something about this problem -- and i don't disagree about cap and trade. i think there are better ways to do it. but if we don't identify it as a problem and bring our ingenuity and innovation to try to solve the problem, our children aren't thanking us. they are going to ask the question what were you guys thinking? why don't you acknowledge what the scientists were telling you that this is a problem and why didn't you solve it? >> thank you. senator fisher, 30 seconds? >> thank you. the climate changes, but it is our reaction to that with policy. that is what a united states senator addresses. cap and trade is not the policy that this country should be implementing. cap and trade would be a $1,700 tax on american families. that number, by the way, comes directly from the obama
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administration. >> senator, 30 seconds. >> let's stipulate we are not going to do cap and trade. but that is not the issue before us today. senator fisher says human beings are not warming the planet, and i say we are. i say it is a clear and compelling problem, and we need to address it, and we need to have a debate about how we are going to address it and what our strategy is going to be. otherwise this is a problem that is going to plague us and why we didn't do anything about it. >> fred has the next question for senator kerrey. >> there is a lot of discussion about lower tax rates by eliminating deductions and loopholes. but one persons loophole is an into in state and local taxes. would you offer specific changes to lower overall tax rates? >> the big four are mortgage deduction, and i think you can scale it back.
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likewise with charitable deduction, state and local. i think there is a great pay off through simplification. you have to believe in it. you have to believe that simplification will generate more revenue. if it generates more revenue, you can't do it. i think there is a huge pay-off to the economy of the state of neambing and to the country through simplification. but you are 100% right. of i have experienced it. there are thousands of laura lobbyists in washington, d.c. paul ryan calls them loophole lobbyists. he is right. they are wearing thousand- dollar suits and getting paid god knows what to protect these loopholes. you can make a case. it sound like you are making the case for the most important thing in the world in each one of these. but you have to believe there is going to be a big pay-off, and i happen to believe there is. senator fisher and i agree with the need to cut the corporate rate. but you are not going to do that unless you are doing the right
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thing for our country and cutting back in the other deductions. 0er wise all it does is increase the size of the deficit. >> thanks. we do need to simplify the tax code. it is 72,000 pages long, and there is by patterson support to do that. -- bipartisan support to do that. we need to lower the corporate tax rate. we are at 35%, the highest among our trading partners. i is suggested over a year ago to lower it to 24%. we need to repeal the death tax. here in nebraska we have done that. we need to see that happen at the federal level as well. we need to repeal the alternative minimum tax. that is a tax that was set up to capture income from wealthier individuals, a parallel tax. instead we see that it is dipping down into the middle- class. now one in five people in the middle-class are paying that tax. yes, we need to close loopholes, and i can tell you
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just in my visits with senators that there is a consensus to move forward in a bipartisan manner to do that. >> senator? >> i agree with us. we passed i.r.s. reform that gave the agency a tremendous amount of power in dealing with the i.r.s. senator fisher has created a glass slipper with a constitutional amendment and a pledge to the governor. that is the glass slipper. all the things she talks about, you can't get it in there. the foot is too big. that is the problem with her plan. >> senator fisher, 30 seconds. >> thank you. i think we were talking about reforming the tax code, and that has to happen. as i said, there is by patterson support for it. -- bipartisan support for aas i visit with business people head.
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across the state, they welcome that. what they want to see is certainty. there is so much risk out there for businesses now. and when you have a tax code that is changing, constantly changing, it is hard to make business decisions. i talk to business people who want to hire, create jobs, hire new employees, but because of the uncertainty we are facing with the fiscal cliff, the tax code that changes constantly, they are concerned. >> thank you. as we wind down our time together, we are going to move into a question from clean williams. -- colleen williams. however, the answer will be 30 seconds long from each of you with no rebuttal. so you have to get to that point quick. >> i will read it fast. recently the president called his inability to get the dream act passed his biggest mistake in office. name one specific mistake you have made in office. >> thank you. i have mentioned this before. there is a couple out there.
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one was my first year in the legislature. time moves fast sometimes when you get bills up on the floor. as a new senator i wasn't prepared for a bill, and it passed, and i was opposed to it. but it went through the process so quickly that after that, i have always been prepared when a bill is on the agenda. my staff knows that we will be prepared for that bill, and we know what is going on. >> thank you. >> senator? >> my biggest mistake was arriving there in 1989 not recognized how damaged these political caucuses are. i wish in 1989 i would have been an advocate of the george norris constitutional amendment there. i guess my biggest mistake is not realizing what a mess congress was in washington when i went there in 1989. >> thank you. each candidate will now have the opportunity for a 90-second
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closing statement. we begin with senator kerrey. >> thank you very much. our country faces enormous challenges both at home and abroad. by experience i am prepared to meet them. i have been in the military. i served o.j. the 9/11 -- i served on the 9/11 commission and the intelligence economy. i am capable of leading in our national security. i know how to balance the budget. i will fight to change our congress. i have already endorsed in this campaign republican proposals to cut spending, and i will do more of that in this campaign. i know i can work with republicans to balance the budget and get our country going in the right direction. i am optimistic. i know we can get this done. you know it is not going to be easy. we are going to have to look at the truth. we are going to have to talk about it as did i when i was a governor and senator before. i believe the most important truth in this is if you want to be remembered by future generations for what we did today, we are going to have to
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change. i want to be the person that makes that change happen so that we are remembered more favorably. we work hard. we love our families. we love our neighbors. we take care of people who can't help themselves, the disabled, the elderly, the men and woman coming back from war with terrible experiences, women who need prenature 58 care and all children who need nourishment of mind, body and spirit. we love our state, nation and world, and we want to do things that are better two it. it would be a prism and honor for me to serve you one more time and i ask for your vote on the 6th of november. >> thank you. senator fisher? >> thank you. we will have a clear choice on election day on november 6th because there are distinct differences between us on practically every issue. i voted for and helped to pass the largest tax relief package in the history of the state of nebraska. mr. kerrey voted for and passed
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the largest tax increase in our country. i support a balanced budget amendment. i know that unless politicians have that, they have never stop spending. mr. kerrey does not. with health care i believe in a market-based health care system where government doesn't come between a patient and their doctor. mr. kerrey supports government- run health care. i am the only candidate up here with a jobs plan. that would be the fisher plan. i talked about that earlier. if we are going to turn this economy around, we need to cut spending. but we need to provide opportunities for job growth. we need to back government away from small businesses and let small businesses create those jobs. by government reducing regulations, reforming the tax code, reducing energy costs, having free and fair trade. that is how we grow an economy. we have done that in nebraska,
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and we can do this. americans are exceptional people. we have the talent, the will power and the resources, and we can meet these challenges before us. and i do believe in a brighter future for this country. i do believe that we can do this. i want to help build a better america, so i ask for your support, and i ask for your vote. thank you and god bless. >> thank you, senator. that brings us to the conclusion of tonight's n.e.t. news nebraska u.s. senate debate. thanks to senator fisher and senator kerrey for participating. thanks to our panel of journalists and our audience and all of you who you watching or listening at home. this debate will be archived and available on the website and on our facebook page. leave a comment on how you felt the candidates did this evening. make a note to watch our one- hour voter voices election special.
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that will be coming up from n.e.t. news on october 19th at 7:00 p.m. central time. thank you once again from all of us at n.e.t. news for watching us. don't forget to vote on november 6 and goodnight. [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2012] >> the urban institute hosted for, what may happen to individual taxes if congress does not address the sokol fiscalcliff live on c-span 2 and noon eastern. on c-span 3, education secretary arne duncan speaks of the national press club on the state education law that at 1:00 p.m. easter. n. see the first presidential debate tomorrow night live on c- span and cspan radio and on the
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c-span.org line at. watched and engage. in a few moments, today's headlines and your calls la "washington journal of on." at two o'clock 3:00 p.m. eastern, the new american foundation hosts a discussion on the role of money in the campaign. we will be live with the debate of the candidates for senate in texas and will follow that with the discussion of the debating styles of president obama and gop presidential candidate mitt romney. in about 45 minutes, we will talk about the health care law that the presidential candidate mitt romney signed into law when he was governor of massachusetts. before 9:00 eastern, we will be joined by howardkurtz and laura ashburn at the use of social media in the presidential